Laurent Koscielny refuses to travel to US with Arsenal
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Laurent Koscielny refuses to travel to US with Arsenal

Frenchman set to be stripped of the captaincy after taking shocking stance to force a transfer.

dave-comerford
David Comerford

Arsenal have been rocked by the news that club captain Laurent Koscielny has refused to join the rest of the squad on their pre-season tour of the United States. 

Koscielny is reportedly going on strike as he bids to force a move away from The Emirates.

The Frenchman's contract expires next summer, but according to James Benge of football.london, he wants to be released for free in this window.

BBC Sport report that Ligue 1 side Bordeaux have offered Koscielny a three-year deal, while Rennes and Lyon are also interested.

The 33-year-old's actions could send shockwaves through the Gunners camp as they prepare for their friendly games against Colorado Rapids, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid

Arsenal issue brief statement

The club have expressed their great 'disappointment' at the behaviour of a player who had been a loyal servant, racking up over 350 appearances.

"Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour," their statement read.

Embed from Getty Images

"We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions. 

"We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time."

Benge claims that it is 'almost certain' the 33-year-old will be stripped of the armband. 

Club's hand forced?

Manager Unai Emery must now decide how to respond. 

He may conclude that there is no room for individuals who have not demonstrated total commitment and seek a replacement.

Arsenal are close to finalising a £27million deal for Saint Etienne centre-back William Saliba, but it is thought he will be loaned back to the French outfit for the 19/20 campaign.

They may seek to alter the terms of the deal, or target a more experienced defensive reinforcement.

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